Irene Rosberg: A Visionary Leader in Maritime Education

Irene Rosberg

Irene Rosberg, Director of the Executive MBA in Shipping and Logistics (The Blue MBA) at Copenhagen Business School (CBS), is a prominent figure in the maritime and logistics sectors. With over two decades of experience, Irene has earned widespread recognition for her impactful contributions and commitment to advancing education and leadership in the industry.

Irene has served as the Director of The Blue MBA which has been instrumental in shaping the programme’s success. Under her leadership, The Blue MBA has been recognised as the leading maritime education programme in the world. It was recently voted Planet Ocean’s #1 Shipping, Logistics, and Related Industry Educational Programme by, and it won the Danish Maritime Prize in 2011.

The Blue MBA, established under Irene’s guidance, has become a cornerstone in the education of high-potential shipping executives. It is recognised by the global maritime industry as instrumental in guiding future leaders and through its graduates from over 50 countries, the programme has a reputation for tangible results and high satisfaction among participants. It addresses the challenges in the fast-evolving maritime industry, offers a comprehensive curriculum covering areas such as Accounting, International Economics, Supply Chain Management, and Leadership and Personal Development. But most of all, the programme stands out for its hyper-focused coverage of sustainability and innovation. Many participants join the programme because they recognise the global push for decarbonisation in the industry and the programme specifically aligns itself with the goal set by the International Maritime Organisation for a net zero greenhouse gas reduction of the industry by 2050, as well as making commercially viable zero-emission vessels a scalable reality by 2030.

The programme also specifically pays close attention to the ongoing digitalisation of the industry and its impacts on various aspects of shipping and logistics as well as communications, safety, and decision-making.

“People should be at the heart of each company’s endeavors, regardless of the extent of digitalisation. Prioritising investments in individuals poised to lead this industry is crucial – ensuring they acquire the necessary skill sets to excel and stay ahead,” says Irene.

The Blue MBA benefits from Denmark’s concentration of premier shipping and offshore maritime companies. However, more than 80% of the programme’s participants are international, reflecting its global appeal and Irene’s advanced recruitment efforts. The programme draws candidates from various professional backgrounds and nationalities, promoting a high level of diversity in the classroom. When participants graduate the programme, they are welcomed into the Blue MBA Alumni Association which is a network of knowledge-sharing, lifelong learning, events and mutual support.

Irene has recruited and shaped many influential members of the industry.

Prashant S. Widge, Head of Public Affairs, South Asia at A.P. Moller Maersk and an alumnus of the programme (class of 2019), highlights Irene Rosberg’s leadership qualities:

Irene is a leader with strong interpersonal skills that all top global shipping players yearn to have. From being head-hunted to lead the Blue MBA over two decades ago to make it the most prestigious and sought-after program through sheer resilience, adaptability, and delivery is no mean feat. From handling her students with constant care to networking across the globe to a re-defined level, Irene has exceeded all expectations, as she takes her role personally, to create a win-win proposition.”

Lotte Lundberg, Managing Director of the Danish Maritime Fund, commends Irene’s knack for recruitment in the sector:

Irene works tirelessly and passionately towards the goal of building and developing the best talent pool in the maritime sector. I have had the pleasure of engaging with Irene over the years in her pursuit of securing students for The Blue MBA at CSB Executive. And last year, she was instrumental in the design work and eventually the launch of the new Blue Board Program at CBS Executive, which was kick-off funded by The Danish Maritime Fund. Irene is a true maritime leader.”

Thomas Damsgaard, Head of BIMCO Americas, and alumnus of the programme (class of 2017), highlights Irene’s impact on participants:

“Through her unwavering leadership of the Blue MBA, Irene Rosberg has created a platform with global reach, where the maritime professionals of the future are adding new tools and honing their skills. Irene’s unwavering support and tireless commitment to our industry has created her legacy within global shipping and logistics.”

Irene’s contributions also extend to serving as the Chief Executive of The Blue MBA Alumni Association, The Blue MBA Alumni Academy, and Director of the Blue Board Leadership Programme at CBS Executive Fonden. She is also a member of the Executive Offshore Wind MBA Programme Board at Gdynia Maritime University and a member of the MBA Industry Advisory Board at the University of Bradford School of Management. She contributes to the field by being part of the AMBA (Association of MBAs) Accreditation Peer Review Panel and is the Co-Founder and Chairperson of M-NOW (Maritime Network of Women) based in Denmark.

The programme’s global acclaim is complemented by Irene’s personal achievements, having been acknowledged as the top woman in the global shipping industry for both 2020 and 2021 by the British shipping newspaper, All About Shipping. Her commitment to the academic community is evident through serving as a keynote speaker at many different international conferences and seminars. A notable recent highlight includes being invited to address the 22nd Parliamentary Intelligence Security Forum in Bucharest in 2022 and in Copenhagen in 2023, shedding light on the critical role of maritime transportation in ensuring food security.

In her philosophy of growth, Irene Rosberg emphasises a dynamic approach to staying ahead of industry challenges and fostering continuous development. Actively seeking new skills and expanding her knowledge through curiosity and positive interactions with industry stakeholders, Irene believes in a reciprocal inspiration process—drawing inspiration from others and inspiring them in return to nurture a creative mindset.

To keep growing, Irene believes that developing a holistic understanding and mindset of the industry is essential. Staying on top of challenges in different parts of the field helps her evolve not just as a female leader but as a leader in this fast-moving, interconnected world. Trying out new projects is her way of growing both personally and professionally.

To learn more about the CBS Executive MBA in Shipping and Logistics, please visit: